Kirkus paid reviewsWhen we talk again, in October, Brunette has “big exciting news”—a favorable write-up from Kirkus Reviews, the venerable book-reviewing publication and website whose blessing is considered essential by many authors and publishers. “A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre,” the review trills. She had to pay for it, though. Kirkus has an “indie team” that will review a self-published work for $425 ($575 for express service), with no guarantee of the outcome. “To me, it’s worth it,” Brunette says. “You want that validation.” She plans to use the review in ads on the Kirkus website and magazine.